The second thing is that once you have bought it, how will you keep costs down while maintaining it? Fuel prices fluctuate, the cost of repair can be high, and insurance can be extortionate depending on the vehicle you own.
Due to inflation and the general cost of living crisis, car owners have been looking at the most savvy ways to help them reduce their monthly outgoings on their vehicles.
Do you have a car on finance and would like to reduce your monthly repayments? Sign up with Car Credible today; we could help you save money on your deal.
While it's easier said than done, there are plenty of different ways to save money, some of which are simple and easy to do, and others that require a little more research and budget crunching.
We've put together eight of the best tips to help you reduce your monthly outgoings on your vehicle, which should hopefully save you money now and in the future.
H2: Downsize, buy second-hand or refinance
When you decide you want to buy a new car, it's natural to want the newest and best models around. However, if you are trying to save money, it may be a good idea to focus your interest elsewhere.
Used cars are an excellent investment because they typically hold their value. That's because new cars depreciate as soon as they are driven off the dealer's forecourt, but after a few years, they stop losing value.
Buying used means you'd be buying a car that has already lost most of its value, so you could secure it at a much cheaper cost. It also means that if you wanted to sell your car in the future, you shouldn't lose too much money on it.
Downsizing is a great option too. If you have a bigger car that you don't necessarily require for what you use it for, downsizing could enable you to get into a newer car at a cheaper price.
Refinancing is also a good way of saving money. It also allows you to keep your existing car while taking out a new finance deal on that car, which extends your term and reduces your monthly payments.
You may also have a better credit score now than when you first took out the car finance. Therefore, you could be eligible to reduce your APR, thus saving you money across the whole deal.
Sustainable driving habits
Certain driving habits can cause you to burn more fuel and negatively impact your engine; turning your engine off while in traffic is a simple adjustment to reduce fuel consumption.
You should also avoid accelerating and braking suddenly, maintaining a consistent speed and giving yourself plenty of time to brake. Air conditioning is also a fuel-guzzler, so if you can avoid using it, you could save some extra fuel.
Check your tyre pressure levels
If the pressure levels in your tyres are too low, you risk them not having enough grip on the road, causing friction which requires more fuel. If they are overinflated, they could burst.
You should regularly check your tyre pressure, especially if you are planning a long journey. Weather can also impact your tyres; cold weather can cause them to deflate, while hot weather can make them inflate.
Compare insurance costs
Every vehicle that uses the road requires insurance to protect the driver if an accident occurs. Insurance can be expensive, so it's recommended that you use comparison sites to find the cheapest deal to suit your needs.
When you compare, ensure that you submit the correct information for your car, including annual mileage. Check what you are covered by before committing to a contract.
Pay road tax in one annual sum
Every vehicle needs to pay road tax, and there are various options available to help make payments more manageable. You could choose to pay for it monthly, bi-yearly or annually.
The best way to save money is to pay for it annually if you can afford it. Typically, you will get a discount for paying for it all in one go than in any form of instalment.
Find the lowest fuel prices in your area
Fuel prices fluctuate constantly, and they can also be different depending on where you get it from, what part of the country you are in and what type of road you are driving on.
It's common knowledge that petrol from a motorway service station is much more expensive than your local supermarket garage because you have no other option if you require fuel on a long journey.
You will likely find supermarket petrol stations are cheaper than independent or multi-national fuel brands. Many also offer loyalty point schemes that help you save money on your fuel and shopping over time.
Repair and maintain your car
If you have a service or MOT and discover something wrong with your car, it may be frustrating and costly, but it could save you a lot of money in the long run if you get it sorted out as soon as it's found.
A small issue or fault now could easily turn into a significant problem further down the line, so if you can afford it, take action.
You should also check things like your fluid levels regularly to keep on top of your car's performance. If you have chips or dents, this could affect your car's value or cause you to pay excess fees if you are on a finance deal.
Think about switching to an electric vehicle
Brand-new electric vehicles are still rather pricey, and there aren't too many used EVs on the market right now. However, if you were thinking about taking the plunge and buying electric, you could save money in the long run.
You will save money on fuel costs, road tax and not have to worry about entering Ultra Low Emissions Zones (ULEZ). However, as EVs are still relatively new, they may be more difficult and expensive to repair if you encounter any issues.